Meet the Health & Wellness Founder Behind the First Menstrual Cup to Be Sold by Nordstrom

December 15, 2021
feature image

You asked for more content around business finances, so we’re delivering. Welcome to Money Matters where we give you an inside look at the pocketbooks of CEOs and entrepreneurs. In this series, you’ll learn what successful women in business spend on office spaces and employee salaries, how they knew it was time to hire someone to manage their finances, and their best advice for talking about money. For this edition, we caught up with Rachael Newton, founder of the period care company Nixit. Here, she shares what compelled her to create a new kind of menstrual cup, why she’s partnered with major retails like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Whole Foods to diversify her selling points, and what major money mistakes she’s made and learned from along the way.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what you were doing professionally before launching Nixit?

I always wanted to be a lawyer and I went straight into law from school. I worked in finance, specializing in hedge funds, exchange-traded funds, and exchange-traded commodities for 15 years. After my second child, I took a bit of a career break and that is when my Nixit journey began.

What was the “lightbulb moment” for Nixit? What inspired you to start your business and pursue this path?

I had been looking for an alternative to pads and tampons, and I found all the traditional bell-shaped menstrual cups on the market really confusing. I had been talking to my husband about how, when I wore tampons and pads, I was always worried about leaking, UTIs, and the risk of TSS. Those factors, combined with the environmental impact of tampons and pads, just made me really anxious when I was on my period. 

I remember the moment when I decided I wanted to create something for the people that have periods, not just the periods themselves. I wanted to remove all the anxiety and worry that went along with having a period, along with creating something that was better for our bodies and the environment. I figured I could do better, and, well, here we are! 

It’s no secret that women receive significantly less venture capital funding than men, with female founders raising only 2% to 3% in venture capital funding on average. No doubt you’ve learned a lot along the way—What are three crucial elements everyone should include in a pitch deck when raising money and why?

I would say, three crucial elements to include are:

1) User feedback. Whether you have sought crowdfunding (such a great way to validate that you have an idea or product that resonates with people) or have feedback from people that have used what you have created, people want to know what other people think about your product, not just what you think.

2) What problem is your idea or product solving? We all love solutions for our problems, even if it is a problem that the people you are pitching to don’t realize they have yet!

3) Who are your competitors? Give them an idea of what you are up against, why you are better, and how you are going to do things differently.

What advice can you share for entrepreneurs on partnering with the right investors? What do investors need to bring to the table other than just money?

I think experience is key here. Work out what you don’t know and find someone who knows the ins and outs of that topic. There’s much less value in taking money from someone with exactly the same skill set as you.

You launched Nixit as a DTC brand, but you’ve expanded your reach through retail partnerships. Why did you pursue a DTC strategy initially, and why have you diversified your selling points over time? Would you recommend this to new business owners launching now?

I wanted to pursue a DTC strategy to really test the market, get user feedback, and prove that we had a great business. Being in stores like Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods just means that more people than ever have access to our product. We are the first menstrual cup to be sold by Nordstrom and I think this really reflects how this space is evolving. Our original mandate of “bringing the menstrual cup mainstream” is truly coming to life.

Image: Courtesy of Nixit

What has been the biggest challenge in scaling so rapidly, and what advice can you share for fellow small business owners on how to scale quickly and sustainably?

Although it can be tempting to try and go as fast as possible, it’s key to pace yourself and plan things out well in advance. 

Where do you think is the most important area for a business owner to focus their financial energy on and why?

Definitely cashflow. This puts you in a position to fully support the plans and decisions you are making.

What was your first big expense as a business owner and how should small business owners prepare for that now?

The investment in our product, tooling, prototyping, and testing. I just had to sit down with a big spreadsheet and work out whether I could afford it and, if it all worked, how much I needed to get to launch. I always say that I never expected to get this far. It started off very slowly, piece by piece, until, when I had all the facts in front of me, it made sense to just get started. I do think if you are launching a business and contributing capital you need to also recognize the risks involved with that. Are you able to lose it all if things do not go according to your plan? 

What are your top three largest expenses every month?

We really invest in our people and that is the most important thing to me. Of course, the product itself is a large part of our business and it’s always a delicate balance between taking advantage of economies of scale and cash flow.

Do you pay yourself, and if so, how did you know what to pay yourself?

I prefer to reinvest any profit in the business. I recently started paying myself a nominal sum, but I would have no idea what to pay myself to truly compensate me for my work. I think we tend to undervalue ourselves, so I should probably ask for double when it comes to having that conversation with myself! 

Did you hire an accountant? Who helped you with the financial decisions and setup? Are there any tools or programs you recommend for bookkeeping?

Yes, I had an accountant from the start. We use Quickbooks, which is great and integrates nicely with Shopify which is also fantastic for quick at-a-glance analytics and reporting snapshots.

Image: Courtesy of Nixit

What apps or software are you using for finances? What’s worked and what hasn’t?

We use A2X to integrate our Shopify store with Quickbooks which works well. Apart from that, we’re pretty old school with the accounting. Honestly, being organized is what works the best for me and making sure that I’m recording everything as it comes in, rather than waiting until the end of the month (or year!).

What are some of the tools you use to stay on top of your business financials? What do you recommend for small business owners on a budget?

I use a combination of Quickbooks and Google Sheets. Of course, Google is free and has been great for us as a start-up. 

How did you know you were ready to hire and what advice can you share on preparing for this stage of your business?

I think I waited too long, honestly. By the time I accepted I needed to hire someone (rather than rely on contractors and agencies), I didn’t even have the time to find someone. I ended up engaging a recruiter for me which was one of the best things I did. She found my first employee who continued to pester me for the role (I was so busy I took ages to get back to her). She is still working for us today and I hope that never changes!

Do you think women should talk about money and business more? 

Of course! I think the issue is that although we should talk about it, we can be left out of those really important conversations. It can be hard to get your foot in the door without coming across as “pushy” or “aggressive.” I don’t have a solution. Honestly, we just need more people to recognize that we have value to add and amplify our voices where and when they can.

Do you have a financial mentor? 

I don’t, but if there is anyone out there who is interested, get in touch!

What money mistakes have you made and learned from along the way?

Be diligent about purchases. Make sure that what you are purchasing is truly something you are going to use and get value out of. Take your time to make big decisions and plan, plan, plan.

What is your best piece of financial advice for new entrepreneurs?

Try and step back and see the bigger picture very often. It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day payments, sales, and invoices. You have to keep focused on where you are going and work out how you are going to get there.

Featured image: Courtesy of Rachael Newton

Return Policy

All sales are FINAL. No refunds on purchases, no exceptions. By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to this policy.

Terms of Service

By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to our Terms of Use and forfeit your right to dispute charges.

Privacy Policy

By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.

Small Business, Big Influence.
Order Summary
The HR Bundle
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Venture Capital Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Bootstrapping & Budgeting Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Marketing Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The PR Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Branding Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Launch Your Business Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Grow Your Instagram Bundle
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Podclass VIP Download
$399.00
$199.50
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Growth Hacking Bundle
$17.99
$13.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The WFH Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Job Hunting Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Grow Your Email List Download
$9.99
$7.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Career-Boost Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Podclass Download
$299.00
$149.50
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Self-Care Bundle 2.0
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.